- Aug 16, 2017
- Reaction score
Well now… That's surprisingly hard to answer. The fifth edition is still my favourite: little to nothing from Deluxe has made it into the game I play. On the other hand, I'm a middle-aged gamer and fifth is the edition that was around when I got into it, so there's bound to be some nostalgic affection there.I only have Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls. am I missing out by not having earlier editions?
Fifth is a smaller, well-tested and proven version, whereas a number of things in Deluxe smack rather of being clever ideas that were thrown in during writing. The actual problems with fifth—such as warriors with a lot of armour sometimes being unable to hurt one another—are easily sorted. It's simpler, with fewer attributes, and it doesn't come with a large number of pages devoted to a fairly generic fantasy setting I'm never going to use. Fifth is also much closer to Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes, so crossovers are a doddle.
Some of the things people try to fix are features I actually like: I love that wizards use their strength to cast magic, leading to them becoming exhausted. Arguments that T&T's system for increasing attribute levels makes for wizards built like Schwarzenegger are technically correct, but for me that shows a lack of creative thinking by the GM (I prefer to think of the wizard's original strength as their physical lifting etc ability and keep track of increases to it as a sort of mental extension which does not normally transfer to day to day activities. However, they can tap into it and perform remarkable feats of strength—a sort of mystical martial arts chi energy, if you like—at the cost of immediately exhausting themselves). The simplicity of the rules and the incredible flexibility of Saving Rolls makes it trivially easy to come up with things on the fly. I love that there are only three character types, because they're defined by whether or how well they can use magic.
And the PDF is pretty cheap.
Remember though, it's a sentimental old gamer talking, about a game he's spent a lot of time with and made some good friends because of.